High Performance Websites
What is meant by the term “high performance website”?
There are a number of factors to consider with the primary one being the speed with which pages display on the users screen, whether it be a cellphone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
There are other things to look at as well, such as usability, accessibility, search engine performance and of course how the website looks.
However, we’ll concentrate on the first point here as it’s way up there in terms of importance. If you’ve ever had to wait, seemingly forever, for the home page on a website to load and then face the same agonising wait for all pages, you’ll know what poor load speed can do to your patience. You might just give up, even before the home page has loaded and click away to find a website that works faster.
There are many reasons for this slowness, one can be your Internet speed, but more often it’s because a website has been made by an amateur or by a website designer that simply should not be in business.
Slow websites are especially noticeable on mobile devices, a factor that Google gives great weight to when “ranking” a website. In particular, Google looks, not so much at the actual website speed, but at how many visitors simply give up waiting for it to load.
There are established standards for measuring the performance of websites and there are websites you can use to judge for yourself the competence of whomever built one. It’s quite easy!
You can try these websites:
Before writing this page I did a search for the term “high performance websites” and one website caught my eye as claiming to be “the best”. I did a test on it using https://web.dev and a screenshot of the result (top) is interesting to see. I’ve included a screenshot of our website’s homepage (middle) and of another personal site of mine at the bottom, just for comparison…
Note: Green is very good, Orange needs improvement, Red is really bad.
In conclusion, don’t just take a website designer’s word for how good they are, actually check them out! And especially test the websites of “design agencies”. Not many of them past the test.